Friday, March 13, 2015

House Update 3.13.15

Progress has been slow.

Even after working most of a day, it seems like we hardly accomplished anything.

We spent most of the morning trying to figure out how to install the H VAC filter. We realized there are two intakes in the house, and neither one of them fit a standard filter.

He was able to mash the sides down to make it fit the upper one, but we are either going to have to use two filters or seal one of the vents.

That's one of the big headaches of renovating a modular home - every thing is an oddball size.

I went around removing outlet and switch covers, hardware, stray nails, and hammering down all the hundreds of little nails left behind from ripping down the wall strips.

That. Took. For. EVER.

Oh, the layers. The layers and layers of horrid paint.

I'm pretty sure the official Benjamin Moore name for this color is "Anemic Dog Shart."

But now, to answer the burning question: is there a worse color hiding behind this one?

The answer is yes, yes there is.


Sanding has been slow-going, even with the roughest sandpaper Mark could find. That paint is thick - thick I tell ya.

In the meantime, I've been experimenting with covering the seams left from the wall strips.

There is at least one room that was spared the ugly paint train. It has the original wall board in place, so it needs nothing more than a spackle before we apply Kilz.

Once it dries we'll see how well it holds up.

It's amazing how tired and sore I was after all that, but looking around, it's hard to tell I even did anything. Am I getting old? Or am I just a wuss?

It was an incredibly gorgeous day, so I couldn't resist walking around to see if I could spot some blooms.

There are quite a few! You just have to look really closely for some of them.

This is Common Chickweed, or Stellaria media. It was introduced from Europe, so is considered an exotic invasive. It is edible, however, so eating it is a good form of weed control.

There is a native chickweed known as Star Chickweed or Stellaria pubera, that has a much larger flower. Let's see if I can dig up a picture...

I think it's quite lovely. It is also edible, by the way.

Chickweeds are in the Pink family or Caryophyllaceae. A distinguishing feature is their petals. If you look closely you can see that there are in fact 5 petals, they are just deeply lobed.

Then there is Ivyleaf Speedwell (Veronia herderifolia), another introduction from Europe.

I was really struggling the get the camera to focus where I wanted it, and I didn't have a lot of time, so sorry the flower is blurry.

I know this one is considered an herb, but I'm unsure about its edibility. I did just read that it has had a lot of medical uses, including the treatment of "painful piles." Uh, hm.

This one should be pretty familiar. Yet another Eurasian invasive...

Dead Nettle, or Lamium purpureum. It is highly invasive, but still makes for a welcome color change when winter is nearing its end. It's also very much appreciated by honeybees. They are technically a mint, and the young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.

The last tiny guy I found was this one ...

Cardamine hirsuta, or Hoary Bittercress. Lovely name, huh? Guess where this one is from? You guessed it - Europe. You can see the flowers aren't quite open, but if they were they would be a in a cross shape. They are a mustard, or in the family Cruciferae (also known as Brassicaceae). Crucifer means cross, in reference to the bloom shape. This one I haven't tasted, so I can't tell you how bitter it really is.

There was another far more conspicuous flower blooming; one that I know we are all familiar with:

Daffodils! They are technically a Narcissus and nope - not native either! They originally hail from Europe and northern Africa. Most of them are planted or have escaped and naturalized in wooded areas. These are NOT edible, but have been used for medicine in the past.

I'm eager to get out on the trails to see what else is popping up. I'll keep you posted!


  1. You are making progress, even though it doesn't feel like it! It's good that you are taking lots of pictures, that way you'll be able to look back and be amazed at all you've done! :)

  2. Wow, those paint colors.. LOL! I think you are doing a great job and even if you can't see the progress, we can! Keep up the good word. And also now I know that we have several European invasive plants right outside the door because I immediately recognized Daffodils, Dead Nettle (we have fed this to our rabbits on a limited basis), and Ivyleaf Speedwell. I think our neighbor (their driveway is very close to the side of our house) planted Japanese Honeysuckle and I am finding the vines on the ground in random places and climbing up our fence. Thinking of feeding those to the rabbits also before they take over (googling it presently). ARGH!

    1. Japanese Honeysuckle is a huge problem everywhere. I feed it to my rabbits a lot. The older plants are also good for basket making.

    2. Thank you! Think I will go do some chopping. Also I am having to cut back the raspberry canes so the buns are extra happy this weekend. :)